Content warning: The following recap contains mild descriptions of self-harm.
Ginny & Georgia has more than a few major commonalities with Gilmore Girls — the series Netflix's new dramedy has been compared to over and over. Both shows are about the dynamic between a pop culture savvy thirtysomething teen mom and her now-teen daughter living in a tight-knit New England town — and, well, both shows have two "G" words in the title. But while Gilmore is filled with feelings and good old-fashioned family drama, Ginny and Georgia's Scandal-level twists and Degrassi-style soap opera melodrama set it apart from your typical teen fare. And unlike Gilmore Girls, this small town isn't entirely populated by WASPy moms and their Stepford children.
Sure, there's a Gilmore Girls-esque vibe to the whole thing — but there are way more cliffhangers, and there's way more Degrassi-style WTF drama than anything that once aired on the WB. (This is particularly helped by the fact that three cast members put in time on Degrassi: The Next Generation and Degrassi: Next Class — yes, this show filmed in Toronto, how did you guess?)
Antonia Gentry (as seen on Raising Dion) stars as the titular Ginny, a 15-year-old who moves with her younger brother and vivacious mom, 30-year-old Georgia (Brianne Howey), from Texas to the tiny Massachusetts town of Wellsbury after the sudden death of Georgia's husband. And although Wellsbury seems to promise a picture-perfect idyllic life, there's plenty of salacious drama to be had.
Episode 1: "Pilot"
You know how Millennials are really mad that Gen Z has deemed side parts and skinny jeans uncool? They're going to have an even harder time grasping the fact that they are unequivocally in the parental demo for this show. (Sorry!) But the sooner Millennial viewers face this fact the better; the alternative is getting absolutely leveled by some of the pop culture references meant to denote that Millennials are old and kinda-sorta out of touch. But with that settled, it's time to jump in to the drama.
Our saga begins at a funeral, where the glamorous Southern belle Georgia is mourning the death of her husband, Kenny (Darryl Scheelar) — and Kenny's ex-wife is lamenting that this pretty young thing is about to inherit her yoga entrepreneur ex's fortune. No matter to Georgia, who loads teenage daughter Ginny and 9-year-old Harry Potter-obsessed son Austin (Diesel La Torraca) into her black BMW convertible and hits the road in search of an idyllic life in New England.
Georgia likes to make fresh starts after her relationships end, so she's picked the Stars Hollow-esque picturesque town of Wellsbury, Massachusetts, which really is like the home of the Gilmore Girls — one Main Street, neighbors who become instant BFFs, lush foliage, the vibe of if "Paul Revere boned a pumpkin spice latte," according to Ginny — except slightly less WASPy. On the way North, both Ginny and Georgia bristle as a cop walks by them. Ginny, because as a half-Black teenage girl she realizes that racism is as rampant in the North as it is in the South, it's just simmering under the surface rather than blatantly obvious; Georgia, because a flashback shows her surviving a fraught, dangerous, abusive childhood.
But Wellsbury seems okay at first. Ginny immediately clocks the hot bad boy from across the street sneaking out of his house, though we first meet him getting caught smoking weed by his mom. This is Marcus (Felix Mallard), and his mom is Ellen, aka Schitt's Creek gem Jennifer Robertson. Georgia introduces herself to Ellen, who is stunned to discover that Georgia is, in fact, Ginny's mother and she had Ginny at age 15.
For another reminder that Georgia is not a regular mom (she's a young, cool mom), when Georgia can't sleep she tries a variety of different solutions: her vibrator (it needs to be charged), wine, her vibrator again (while it's plugged into the wall charging), wine again, loading a gun, plucking her eyebrows, and finally buying some weed off of bad boy Marcus. The next day she's fresh as a daisy, wearing a hot pink clubbing dress to drop Austin off at school — while giving him a pep talk that Ron Weasley is a wuss and he's going to do great. Remember, she's a cool mom! She meets the mean girl moms of Austin's classmates and immediately clocks how they operate. To fit in with them, she picks up a fancy new purse that they'll like. It's a good idea, though her card is declined because Kenny's ex-wife is contesting the will; Georgia ends up stealing a purse instead.
Meanwhile, at the high school, Ginny's English teacher is being both condescending and vaguely racist as he implies Ginny won't be able to handle the AP class and keeps calling her "Virginia" even though she corrects him constantly. But Ginny can handle herself — she's not necessarily as sweet and friendly as her mom seems, but she is super-smart and capable of projecting confidence (even if she doesn't necessarily feel it) as she calls out the teacher for a syllabus full of mostly white men. A clearly very popular girl, Maxine (Sara Waisglass — Degrassi alum No. 1), backs her up. Between classes, Ginny flirts with Marcus until Max introduces herself and apologizes for her twin brother.
While friendly, Max is a lot, and after introducing Ginny to her crew at lunch she babbles all about her interests and being bummed that Ginny is straight (Max is gay, having come out of the closet at 9 when she announced she liked Barbie's boobs). This goes on until a cute popular guy, Hunter (Mason Temple), tells Max to chill.
It's time for Degrassi alum No. 2: That would be Raymond Ablack, who plays Joe, the owner of the local restaurant whom Georgia meets just before she has a meet cute with the town's dreamy mayor, Paul Randolph, played by Jason Street himself (Scott Porter, for you non-Friday Night Lights-watching philistines). Max tells Ginny all about Mayor Paul when the teens spot Georgia chatting with the politician after school. "Thirsty moms throw their twats at him,” says Max, because, just a reminder, this show is edgier than Gilmore Girls. Actually, later, when Ginny is getting ready for her first date with cute popular guy Hunter, she even tells her mom she's trying too hard to be edgy. It's not not true, but it does establish the relationship between Ginny and Georgia — Georgia has a huge personality and is prone to flights of fancy, so Ginny has positioned herself as the wise, grounded one in their relationship. This is why Georgia gets so freaked out when she sees Ginny flirting with Marcus, and even boldly kissing him.
It reminds her of a flashback to meeting Ginny's dad, a handsome 17-year-old named Zion (Kyle Bary) she met at a bar (yes, at age 15) whom she joins on his adventurous gap year road trip across the U.S. She thinks Ginny is just like her, and she wants Ginny to find a cute nerd instead of falling for the artsy "Shawn Hunter" bad boy. (That's a Boy Meets World reference, if you are a youth and never knew the wonder of Rider Strong.) Later she apologizes, and it's clear she's just worried about Ginny making the same mistakes she once did.
When Georgia picks up Austin from school, she discovers his beloved Harry Potter glasses are broken. The next morning, she confronts the kid who broken them, threatens him, and has Austin punch him in the face — then brings him to his mother, who is of course the meanest of the mean moms, Cynthia Fuller (Sabrina Grdevich). She gets Cynthia back later at the school board meeting, when she comes up with a brilliant fundraiser idea that also catches the eye of hot Mayor Paul. Afterwards, Georgia bonds with Ellen while smoking the weed she confiscated from Marcus, and fills Ellen in on their family situation: Ginny's dad, Zion, is a lovely artist, while Austin's dad is in prison for fraud — but not to worry, he was framed. How does she know? She's the one who framed him.
Despite Ginny's scorching hot chemistry with Marcus, Ginny says "yes" when Hunter asks her on a date. Things go well enough, though Ginny word vomits when they say goodbye so they awkwardly hug instead of kissing. (This would have been Ginny's second kiss, after the first one she laid on Marcus a few days prior.) But back in her bedroom, Marcus climbs through the window and one thing leads to another, and before they know it they've rounded third base and slide straight into home plate. It's Ginny's first time, but Marcus leaves before she can tell him.
A flashback shows Ginny and Georgia in the recent past doing yoga with Kenny. When Georgia leaves, Kenny inappropriately touches Ginny as he corrects her form (we'll call it what it really is: sexual assault of a minor), despite Ginny repeatedly telling him to stop. When she returns, Georgia interrupts them and then simply snips a flower from the same plant we saw her unpack earlier and puts it in Kenny's smoothie. After he drinks it, he has a heart attack and dies.
At school, Ginny reveals in a voiceover that she finally realizes what her mom likes about having control over men — it's the power. Ginny then makes a power play of her own by going over to Marcus and his girlfriend in the hallway and acting like she's going to say something about them having sex — but she doesn't. She just wants Marcus to sweat — and he does. He's totally hooked on her.
Episode 2: "It's a Face not a Mask"
A crisis is afoot in the Miller household — one that has Georgia waking Ginny up screaming at 5 a.m. — she can feel a hair on her chin. Ginny helps her remove it, but thinks seriously about the kind of armor that beauty can provide — for her mother, it's both armor and a weapon. Ginny feels uncomfortable with her identity in general, since sometimes she feels she's not white enough for the white kids and not Black enough for the Black kids. And while there are plenty of non-white people in Ginny's new school, there's definitely tension that we can see as Max and her friends, Abby (Katie Douglas) and Norah (Chelsea Clark, Degrassi alum No. 3!), give Ginny the Mean Girls rundown of the school. Lots of (white) kids stop Ginny in the hallway — asking her about why she looks so exotic or informing her that they're totally "woke" — though Ginny does entertain and appreciate the overture from a Black classmate who invites her to join field hockey or student leadership or just hang out sometime. Oh, and that dick English teacher from the first day of school? He continues to be a dick by touting Hunter's perfect score on the pop quiz as the score to beat — no mention of Ginny also getting 100 percent or the fact that she is the top student in the class.
That night, after Ginny buys Plan B (she's responsible!), she and Max "go to the movies," and by "movies" they mean a party in a basement where Ginny smokes weed for the first time. This spurs a conversation in which Georgia introduces Ellen to the concept of finstas — because Georgia is so young and hip, she absolutely knows that the girls are not dressed that nicely to go sit in a movie theater for a few hours.
At the "movies," Hunter's ex-girlfriend is there to tell Ginny all about how she and Hunter dated through eighth grade and lost their virginities to each other (this seems early, right?) and that he has the second biggest dick of all their friends (they all measured last summer). The ex also wants to know which of Ginny's parents is white, and wants Ginny to know that she plans to marry a Black man so she "can have mixed babies." Ginny somehow manages not to curl into the fetal position from all the cringe, but that's also probably because she's so incredibly high that she gives a big monologue about the differences between the Star is Born movies and everyone laughs.
When she gets home, she tells her mom about the party ("You never had friends to lie to me about before," Georgia responds). Once they go to bed, Ginny pulls out a lighter and burns her inner thigh. Just because Ginny projected confidence at the pharmacy and when everyone was laughing at the party doesn't mean it didn't completely sting. It doesn't help that the next day at school, she trips with a tampon in her hand and accidentally throws it directly in Hunter's face. Since he is a beautiful angel of a teen boy, he's unshaken and actually goes and buys her a salty snack because that's what his sisters usually crave and then asks her out again.
When Max auditions for the play after school (she ultimately gets the lead), Abby and Norah take Ginny shopping for a date outfit — but when Abby steals a bunch of stuff and pressures Ginny to do it too, Ginny's the only one who is stopped on her way out the door. Luckily, Georgia is nearby and gets Ginny safely out of the shop, but not before Abby throws Ginny under the bus. Georgia knows her daughter and doesn't need to be told that the other girls pressured Ginny, so she lightly punishes her daughter by making her get a job at Joe's restaurant.
After talking her way into the job, it's time for Georgia's first day of work with the mayor. Paul and his aide, Nick (Daniel Beirne), inform her that the permit for the weed shop they planned to open in order to inject a much-needed spark into the Wellsbury economy has been rejected. The town planning committee is no match for Georgia, who realizes that mean school mom Cynthia, whose real estate office is right next door from the planned space for Green Gardens, sabotaged the permit. Don't worry, Georgia fixes it and the Mayor falls a little more in love with her (this is not spoken, but is very clear: Mayor Paul has it bad for Georgia).
Austin continues to be a prime target for the bully at school, particularly when the well-meaning teacher gives Austin his show-and-tell spot — and when Austin's presentation is all about how his dad is in jail at Azkaban, he gets laughed out of class. Georgia once again fixes things, because that is what she does, by sending popsicles for the class — with a pack of carrots for Austin's bully along with a note about how his mom won't let him eat sugar.
There are approximately five major reveals at the end of this episode. First, Marcus climbs back in to see if he and Ginny are cool, and she unloads on him. She's insecure about certain things, including that she had to buy her own Plan B but apparently the guy usually does it, and by the way that was her first time. He comforts her, then starts to kiss her — “you took Plan B, right? That lasts another day at least,” he says — before she kicks him out. Her friends then come over to make amends for the whole shoplifting thing, which is nice but somehow a Fenty foundation doesn't really seem like enough to make up for what they did.
Second, a sweet flashback of young Georgia and Zion goofing around at a gas station takes a turn when Zion goes outside to start his motorcycle and Georgia pulls out a gun and holds the place up. Third, it turns out the letters from Austin's dad in prison are actually written by Georgia (not so shocking) and that she's applied for a credit card in Austin's name (definitely shocking). Fourth, another flashback shows young Georgia going back to her abusive stepdad and shooting him, proving that her self-defense instincts have been there for years. And fifth, a private investigator named Gabriel Cordova (Alex Mallari Jr.) tells Kenny's ex-wife the truth about Georgia's real identity: Her real name is Mary, she was born in Alabama, her birth father is serving time for attempted murder, and she lived off the grid from ages 14 to 18 until she went by the name of Georgia Miller (she took Zion's last name though they were never married). Austin's dad is serving time for embezzlement, and there are plenty of gaps in her timeline because she's frequently on the run.
This episode didn't end with a "dun dun dun" sound cue, but it might as well have.
Episode 3: "Next Level Rich People Shit"
It's the sophomore sleepover! Where kids pay $100 to spend the night on the gym floor of the school that they already go to. Georgia is annoyed by the premise but as Ginny points out, "You moved us to this white, rich-ass town." Max is desperate to to the sleepover, and thinks Ellen is the worst mom ever for grounding her after the party; Marcus doesn't want to go because his friends won't be there; and Ginny is confused but along for the ride.
Georgia is dead broke, so volunteers to help Ellen chaperone the night, then tries to convince Nick to watch Austin for the night so she can chaperone. It'll be fun, she says. "You know what's fun? Big Dick Saturdays at Trunks. That's fun," he responds. That does sound like fun. Remember bars? But anyway, since Mayor Paul has a crush on Georgia, he volunteers to watch Austin.
Max has a big ol' crush on her co-star in the musical, and their Bob Fosse-style dance number seems pretty risqué for a high school, but it definitely makes things pretty confusing as she works through her feelings. There's plenty of time for her to talk it out with her pals in MANG — aka the name of Max, Abby, Norah, and Ginny's unfortunately named clique and accompanying group text. Ginny, meanwhile, is wondering whether to ask Hunter if she and her are officially boyfriend and girlfriend. But Max and Ginny aren't the only ones dealing with issues: Abby's parents are loudly fighting all the time, and she has some body dysmorphia issues that have inspired her to duct tape her legs underneath her jeans to give herself a prominent thigh gap.
At the sleepover, Ellen has one goal: that no one dies. She and her fellow chaperones decide they will not be looking for anything as they let the kids into the school — because if they look for stuff, they'll probably find it and have to do something about it. And that is not the goal! The goal is to survive. Though Ellen is definitely worried about Marcus, because last year was very difficult for him.
Inside the gym, it honestly looks like a very cute carnival? There's dancing and popcorn and a DJ and a photo booth, where Hunter and Ginny kiss. Extremely wholesome fun! They even do the Cupid Shuffle. How retro of them. Austin and Paul are also having a wholesome time as Paul, who has no kids, learns how to deal with fickle children. It's a pretty solid night for him, except the part where he discovers Georgia's credit card in Austin's name.
Ginny's fun night goes off the rails when she succumbs to her friends' peer pressure to let a well-meaning mom put her hair into a high pony by brushing it out. This forces Ginny to the locker room to wet it and fix it when the brushing totally ruins her curls. She thinks she's alone in there, but as she takes her shirt off to rinse her hair, it becomes apparent that Marcus is there smoking weed. They banter about why Marcus is such a loner, then do cute Australian accents (actor Felix Mallard is actually Australian, which is cute) and bond while talking about life and their problems. Ginny tells him to check his privilege, but he tells her why he's so messed up — his best friend died last year from cancer. They try to lighten the mood and almost kiss, but scatter when they hear voices.
Things start falling apart with the rest of the group — the teens sneak into a classroom where they drink their contraband booze and play truth or dare, but Abby storms out when she refuses to take off her jeans. Max tries to confess her feelings and kiss her drama crush, but she tells Max she's not gay (though she wishes she wasn't because they would be the hottest couple). Georgia steals some cash from the lock box, but rushes out when she sees Max in tears from her failed declaration of love. Georgia gives Max a pep talk in the locker room where Ginny and Marcus are just about to kiss, and after Max leaves, Ginny has a pretty harsh conversation with her mother in which she accuses Georgia of being jealous because Ginny gets to have the full high school experience that Georgia didn't.
Next comes a flashback to Georgia's teen days, just after she discovered she was pregnant in a rest stop bathroom. We see her bonding with a boy from Wellsbury High School who's down South on a field trip and who shares his sandwich with her — he's Joe. Yes, that Joe! So this is why Georgia moved to Wellsbury... Georgia tells him she once dreamed of having a horse named Milkshake who could fly, and he gives her his Ray Ban sunglasses. She says she'll look him up if she's ever in Wellsbury.
The next morning, everyone has survived the sophomore sleepover. Ellen’s mission is accomplished. Max has a broken heart and Abby's super wasted, but Ginny came out of the night unscathed and Hunter finally asked her to be his girlfriend. But just when Max thinks life is going to suck as a result of her sleepover confession, she meets a hot senior who gives her some flirty advice about trying to kiss someone who wants to kiss her back. Just like that, Max has a new crush.
Episode 4: "Lydia Bennett is Hundo a Feminist"
The episode opens with Ginny experiencing a rite of passage for every girlfriend of a guy in a shitty high school band: listening to Hunter's band practice and pretending it sounds great. But actually, this band is not bad, partially because Marcus' pseudo-girlfriend, Padma (Rebecca Ablack, who is the younger sister of the Degrassi alum who plays Joe), is a pretty good singer. But once they're done practicing, Ginny’s disappointed that she’s not getting any action — she and Hunter have barely kissed, and he hasn't even grabbed her boob. He has, however, gifted her an annotated copy of Pride and Prejudice, which is an incredibly wholesome and thoughtful gift, so that's nice.
But really, though, Ginny wants some action. She's in awe of her mother's self-possession and confidence,though she rolls her eyes at another edgy Georgia move: she grabs a battery from her vibrator to replace the dead one in Ginny's electric toothbrush. That battery comes in handy later, when Ginny takes a sexy pic and texts it to Hunter, who doesn't respond. So she also sends the photo to Marcus, who tells her it's sexy. He then confesses that he overheard a conversation she had with her friends earlier that day, in which Ginny complained about boys ignoring female pleasure because porn only centers the male gaze. He wants to know if she finished when they hooked up.
The answer, obviously, is no, but Ginny tells him that isn't his fault; she’s never had an orgasm. This descends into some racy sexts, in which Marcus encourages her to masturbate. Though she’s never done it before, Ginny lies and tells Marcus she has, before putting her phone down and trying it — using the very same electronic toothbrush that is powered by her mom's vibrator battery. It works. Good for Ginny.
Meanwhile, Paul is feeling guilty after confronting Georgia about the credit card in Austin’s name because she lied and said it was Austin’s incarcerated father who started it. Georgia then manages to leverage Paul's crush on her and his guilt about the credit card to change the annual school fundraiser from Cynthia's beloved bake sale to a casino night. Cynthia, naturally, is fuming. Later, as the mean moms plan the night, Georgia vents to Joe about how stressed she is, and they bond while she chugs wine. Joe tells her he has three horses, one named Milkshake. "You finally got your horses, huh?" she says confusingly. Well, it’s confusing to Joe, at least. We now know that Georgia realizes Joe is the same kid she met on his field trip 15 years ago, but Joe still has no idea.
While Ginny is delivering an English presentation defending Pride & Prejudice’s Lydia Bennet, her mom pulls her out of class to go to the gynecologist and put her on birth control. Ginny gets mad at Georgia initially, but it becomes clear that Ginny only blows up because she is insecure about the fact that Hunter hasn't tried to make any moves. Does he think she's disgusting? And how can her mom channel such gorgeous confidence while she feels like a troll? But Georgia spills the real secret of adulthood: She doesn't know what she's doing, really — nobody does. Ginny sees Georgia as a glamazon, but really, Georgia is 30 and single with two kids from different relationships.
This gives Ginny a much-needed boost of confidence, which she demonstrates later at the Battle of the Bands as she confronts Hunter for ignoring her. He can't respond before he has to go on stage, but then he dedicates an entire new song to how much he likes her and all is well. Max's romantic life is similarly in flux: she's going on and on about her new crush, Sophie (Humberly González), but spirals further when Ginny accidentally deep-likes one of Sophie’s Instagrams from 2016 — everyone's absolute worst nightmare come true...or not? At the Battle of the Bands, Sophie likes an old photo of Max's to show her that she's definitely interested.
Casino night is an unmitigated success, and Georgia is in sexy-scary pit boss mode as she smoothly tackles every problem that arises during the event — and even raises some more cash with an impromptu auction. Georgia also steals some cash again, reminding us that she might be well-meaning but she's also doing some shady stuff. We root for her once again, though, when she calls Paul to tell him to ask her out. Spoiler alert: he does, and she accepts.
Episode 5: "Boo, Bitch"
It's Halloween, and things in Wellsbury are getting spooky — in real life and for the holiday. The episode opens with Georgia sipping coffee on her porch, then pulling out a handgun with a silencer and shooting the bunny that's been ravaging her flower beds. Just a totally chill and normal thing to do when a pest is screwing with your plants.
Since this is suburbia, there's going to be a silly event in which the entire town participates. This one is Fall Fest, wherein neighborhoods compete to decorate their houses for Halloween. Ginny and Georgia banter about ideal scary movie marathons (complete with a Scream homage), but move on to the scariest topic of all: Ginny is going to meet Hunter's parents. Her nerves are compounded by the fact that a video of Hunter performing his song for Ginny at the Battle of the Bands has gone viral.
The MANG girls (we’re getting used to it but it’s still a stupid name) don't want to do Ginny's scary movie marathon; they're going to a "Boos and Booze" party at Brody's house. They're trying to come up with a group costume, and when the annoying microaggression girl suggests the Avengers, Ginny calls it basic. Ginny is realizing now how she can leverage her social status to gain more power, but unfortunately it's at the expense of someone else. Surely this won't be something she will make a habit of? But you never know, teenage insecurity is a real bitch.
Ginny's BDE is thriving today, though, because when Max clams up in front of Sophie, Ginny comes to her rescue and asks Sophie to the party that night. Ginny also invites the girl who invited her to join leadership, because this is definitely going to be a rager. As a fun touch to make older Millennial viewers feel even older, MANG chooses the costume theme of Britney Spears through the years — you know, all those fun vintage looks that Britney wore before they were even born. But the Britney love runs deep and true — they all want what's best for her, and speaking for everyone who watched Framing Britney Spears, same. Free Britney.
Anyway, Georgia and Ellen are bonding over some 1 p.m. Chardonnay, and dishing over Georgia's upcoming date with Paul. Ellen acts jealous, though Georgia calls her out on it since it's clear Ellen and Clint have a very healthy, loving relationship. Ellen knows this, because Clint gave her a striptease after she saw Magic Mike Live in Vegas and became obsessed. It's the best show she's ever seen in her whole life, including the original Broadway cast of Hamilton. (As someone who has seen both, I can assure you this is an astute comparison.)
Later, during their first date, Paul makes some important confessions: He once had a ponytail, and also he's from Brookline, a couple of towns over (which means this fictional town is just outside of Boston, if you happen to care about the fictional geography of this fictional show). Georgia tells him that she grew up in Alabama, and her relationship with Ginny's father is complicated — he's her penguin, which means her relationship with him should work, but somehow it doesn't. She doesn't have siblings, she says; she's an only child.
Dinner with Hunter's family is going well for Ginny. She impresses the family by speaking a little bit of Mandarin and Korean because she's good with languages, and they talk about Hunter’s song that has since gone viral. (They also rib Hunter about it a little bit, like any loving family would.) A flashback to Georgia's childhood shows that Zion also wrote songs for Georgia and Ginny, though his academic-minded parents didn't approve of his frivolity. In fact, they wanted to become Ginny’s guardians so that Zion could go to Georgetown and law school. When Zion suggests that it’s not such a terrible idea, Georgia freaks out and runs away. Immediately after this flashback, Ginny gets into her head at dinner with Hunter’s parents and starts babbling about her family life.
Naturally, Georgia did an amazing job decorating her house for Fall Fest. The actual Fest is cute as well — everyone in town commits hard to the costume theme, and Cynthia, tired of being thwarted by Georgia at every turn, takes the opportunity to announce her own run for mayor. She also decides to try to ruin Paul and Georgia's lives by revealing that they went on a date. It's not great, but things heat up between the new couple later when they strip down and get it on in his office. Listen, it's totally inappropriate because she works for him, but it's definitely hot.
At the party, MANG’s Britney costumes are a hit, however improbable it is that these teens put their professional-looking costumes together in just a day or two. The "Hit Me Baby One More Time" schoolgirl outfit or "Me Against the Music" look maybe, but the "Toxic" flight attendant dress and the "Oops I Did It Again" red pleather catsuit? No way. The same goes for Max's "I'm a Slave 4 U" VMAs snake outfit. Please.
The party proceeds kind of as expected, though: Abby takes out her angst about her parents splitting up by getting drunk and making out with Norah. Max takes out her anxiety about Sophie's imminent arrival by getting drunk and making a fool of herself when Sophie arrives (performative makeouts with other girls are not very cool). And Ginny harnesses her newfound confidence to get super drunk and do a sexy dance. This, of course, does not go well for Ginny, especially when her pal from leadership drops by and calls out the fact that not only is Ginny making a fool of herself, but it's also very clear that she was not the one who chose the Britney costume. Between that incident and a comment on the video of Hunter's song calling Ginny the "whitest black girl they've ever seen," our heroine goes into a spiral that she feels she can only solve by burning herself with a candle that's in the bathroom.
Ginny snaps out of it, though, to take care of a super-drunk Max. When the girls get home, Marcus helps put Max to bed, and covers for his sister in front of their parents. It's clear the twins do love each other, despite their constant bickering. Ginny apologizes for ignoring Marcus, and they agree to be friends.
Austin, meanwhile, stays home and absolutely terrifies himself watching scary movies. Things are definitely scarier considering there is a strange person lurking around the house — potentially the same person who stopped by to "inquire" about the house potentially being for sale? Actually, it's the obnoxious woman Ginny served earlier at work. It turns out she is Ginny's aunt, Maddie (Kelly McCormack), along with her cousin Caleb. Surprise: Georgia lied about being an only child. Ginny is pissed about the lies her mom has told and Austin doesn't take the news well, either. After his bully says another shitty thing about his family, Austin sharpens a pencil and stabs that little asshole in the hand.
Episode 6: "I'm Triggered"
Austin gets suspended for his attack and Georgia promises to send him to therapy, but later on in the car she refuses to make him go. Ginny thinks it'll be good for him, and by the way, she's also absolutely pissed with Georgia about all the lies she's told about her family.
Back at home, Maddie catches up with her long-lost sister. Apparently, she found Ginny on social media, which led her to Georgia. She says she just wants Caleb to know his cousins and Austin and Caleb do get along well, so Georgia lets them stay for a few days. Maddie has brought a few photos from Georgia's childhood, which are fun for her to look at — until she sees the photo of her abusive stepfather. Ginny, meanwhile, is reeling over her mom's lies, and vents to Hunter about the entire situation — casual teenage venting about that thing where your mom lies that her entire family is dead and also completely erases her sister from existence. It's hard for Ginny to reconcile the fact that her mom lied about such fundamental things.
It's even more shocking when Maddie pops by Ginny's job and sits down with Ginny’s friends, who are completely confused. Ginny is reluctant to tell all of her friends about Maddie, though she does tell them all about Austin (they all encourage him to get therapy), so she confides in Maxine alone about her long-lost aunt. While Maddie and Georgia get drunk and bond, finally, Max, Marcus, and Ginny watch Austin and Caleb — who'd gotten in trouble earlier by accidentally setting the yard on fire while playing with WD-40 and a lighter.
Joe brings an absolutely hammered Maddie and Georgia home, and they put Maddie to bed while Ginny tells Marcus how mad she's been about her mom's betrayal. To get back at Georgia just a little bit, Ginny and Marcus send Paul upstairs when he shows up with flowers, so he is completely confused when he walks in on Joe and Georgia putting Maddie to bed. The Joe thing resolves itself pretty quickly (he just leaves), and honestly so does the "actually I have a half-sister" thing: Georgia tells Paul she hid her past because it's messy and dark and she didn't want him to have to deal with it, and he tells her that he wants to know about these painful parts of her life.
All seems well, but later Georgia decides to snoop in Maddie's phone while she's passed out. Unfortunately, she discovers that Maddie was sent to find Georgia by someone named "Cordova," who wants dirty details about Georgia's life. It's a painful revelation, but Georgia steels herself and works on fixing this new problem. After some Google sleuthing, she discovers that Cordova is actually Gabriel Cordova (Alex Mallari, Jr.), a private investigator from Houston — the same man who introduced himself as a third grade teacher when her colleague Nick brought his hot date by the office.
This episode's flashback is to Georgia's days living in New Orleans and working as a maid at a hotel after fleeing from Zion's family. She starts running an underground poker game out of her hotel room home until one day Maddie shows up. After the sisters hole up together for a bit, Georgia ends up kicking Maddie out — she can't afford to take care of her sister and baby Ginny — but Maddie is terrified to go back home. She steals some money and hits the road.
In the present day, a hungover Maddie takes Ginny and the boys to breakfast and tells Ginny about her grandparents. It turns out they weren't actually very good people. She and Georgia had different dads, but their mother was an Oxy addict. They had a rough childhood, and she understands why Georgia didn't tell Ginny about their family. But, in an echo of what happened in New Orleans, they return from breakfast and find that Georgia has Maddie and Caleb's bags packed. It's time for them to leave.
The kids head upstairs, and Georgia gives Maddie an envelope with $10,000 — double what Maddie asked for from the PI. Maddie is upset over the situation, but she’s mostly hurt because Georgia is only looking out for Georgia and leaving Maddie to fend for herself... again. It turns out what happened when Georgia left town isn't that her stepdad stopped abusing her and lived a normal life — he started abusing Maddie instead. She knows that Georgia isn't actually worried about whether Maddie will give Cordova details about her New Orleans poker game or any other shady dealings, it's that Maddie reminds Georgia of home and her abuser. Nonetheless, Maddie and Caleb hit the road.
Ginny goes to school, but when she can't concentrate she gets Hunter to take her home, where she starts snooping while her mother's at work. She discovers Georgia's box of mementos hidden underneath the floorboards, and also one of her guns — which she ends up pointing at Georgia, who comes home, hears someone snooping, and pulls out a gun of her own. Luckily neither of them shoots, but they do get into a screaming match and Georgia slaps Ginny. Later, she apologizes, but tells Ginny that the past needs to stay in the past. Georgia ceremonially burns photos in the fireplace (with the aforementioned WD-40 and lighter combo), while Ginny calls her dad for comfort.
While all this is going on, Ginny & Georgia lights a few other fires for future episodes: Max makes up with Sophie and they share a sweet kiss; it's really quite adorable. Less adorably, Georgia learns how to process invoices at work — and her eyes go wide when she sees that the town's bank balance is more than $3 million.
Episode 7: "Happy Sweet Sixteen, Jerk"
It's Ginny's Sweet Sixteen, and at least this is not a 16 Candles situation. Nobody forgot her birthday; in fact Georgia is icing her a cake when Ginny goes downstairs for breakfast at 7 a.m., though that's a little too early for frosting. (This was obviously in the pre-pandemic times, because now time has no meaning now and if you want to eat cake at 7 a.m., you should. Besides, what are muffins if not un-iced cupcakes with fruit?)
While Ginny is still absolutely livid with her mother, she seems somewhat receptive to Georgia's planned day of birthday surprises (despite a sarcastic response) and is delighted by both the piano her dad has gifted her and the cute decorations her pals put up at school. She also seems delighted by the flash mob tap dance performance Hunter does in the hallway, which is cringeworthy even to type out, but also extremely sweet, just like all the other gestures Hunter has done for Ginny. But it's endearing enough that Ginny decides that she wants to have sex with Hunter at the rager she and Max are planning at Max and Marcus' house that weekend while their parents are away in Maine eating lobster (or whatever else you do in Maine). Unfortunately, Ginny doesn't know that Georgia is planning a sleepover as part of her birthday surprise.
The mayoral race is heating up, and it’s time for Paul and Cynthia to have a public debate. Beyond the idea that there are large-scale mayoral debates for such a small town (and during the workday? Seems like less than ideal scheduling!), it's also pretty ridiculous that the two candidates continually interrupt each other. We didn't just sit through an entire hellacious U.S. election cycle to watch fictional characters shirk the rules of decorum that most politicians seem serious about following. There's no way a legitimate debate would allow two candidates to cut each other off like that. Well, almost no way.
Anyway, Mayor Paul has a much more well-rounded plan for the town than Cynthia's stock answer that everything is "for the schools." What about all the people and things the town must serve that are not the schools? It's a really limited platform! One thing that might come to bite Paul in the ass later: The fact that Georgia has decided to cash herself a $10,000 check from the town's budget as she calls her lawyer to "do what you did for me in New Orleans." On the bright side, Paul seems to be bonding with both Austin and Ginny.
While Ginny's birthday dinner doesn't go well — Ginny's still absolutely pissed at her mom — she is loving her birthday piano and also the portrait that Marcus painted for her (and then crawled through her window to deliver). Their chemistry is still insanely strong, so it's not terribly surprising that they're on the verge of making out as she hugs him to thank him for the present. She has a boyfriend, she reminds Marcus — of course, a boyfriend who Marcus thinks "has a ponytail instead of a personality." (Sorry, this is true, even though Hunter is a cutie who continually does nice things for Ginny. But what does he actually enjoy other than grand gestures for his girlfriend?) Regardless, Ginny tells Marcus she plans to have sex with Hunter the following night.
The next morning, Ginny is waiting on Austin, who's taking forever in the bathroom, but surprise: It's actually Mayor Paul. Another slight qualm here: there is literally no way a house this big wouldn't have a private master bathroom for Georgia, so feels like a pretty contrived conflict. But no matter, it's birthday surprise time, and Max, Abby, and Norah are here for fun hang times. Ginny isn’t having it, but Georgia has arranged a beauty bar, a karaoke costume corner, a clothes customization station, and even snagged a bedazzler for the occasion. While Ginny isn't pleased that this birthday party includes a sleepover component, the girls vow to figure out a way to sneak out. Max got a bikini wax for this after all, and she's been almost insufferable in the attention she's paying to Sophie. Before school on Ginny's birthday, she'd texted, DMed, Snapchatted, and Venmo requested Sophie all in the course of three hours. It is cute that they're teaching each other languages, though — Sophie is helping Max learn Spanish, while Max is teaching Sophie American Sign Language.
But back to the birthday surprise — wanting to be the cool mom, Georgia lets Ginny convince her to allow the girls one teeny Champagne toast. While they're gone pouring half-flutes of Champagne, the other girls raid the now-unlocked liquor cabinet for their party. They also refill the bottles with water because they're not amateurs, okay?
Nick stops by on his way home from drag brunch — all decked out as his drag alter-ego Avril Vagine (a truly great drag name) — and with his new "teacher" man in tow. Georgia lets the so-called teacher know that she's aware of his true identity, and while everyone is going Karaoke the teacher, er, P.I. takes an important call that we conveniently hear: Just before Kenny died, he'd had an intense health scan that revealed precisely zero signs of a potential heart attack.
Sleepover time! And by "sleepover," the girls obviously mean "mom puts on the movie Clue and then leaves the room while we get all gussied up for our party and sneak out." There is a major Beirut tournament to be played (or beer pong, depending on your regional drinking game name preference) and more microaggressions for Ginny to weather (like dumbass Brody telling her he likes her newly straightened hair better than her natural curls, and how it's weird that she has no ass). Ginny and Hunter, who is half Taiwanese, bond over what it's like to be mixed-race, then start making out — until things heat up even more and Hunter goes straight downtown. That's honestly a very nice birthday present!
Max and Sophie are also getting hot and heavy, but for all the game Max has talked it's clear she's uncomfortable with actually having sex. They decide to abort their mission and head back down to the party, where Ginny tells the girls that Hunter went down on her. Unfortunately, Marcus overhears (awkward), so Ginny decides to get absolutely wasted by taking a truly dangerous amount of shots. Obviously, taking shots is TV shorthand for "these people are getting absolutely blackout right now," but do people actually take like 10 shots in a row and still retain the ability to walk? Like, two, sure. But 10? Am I old? Please advise in the comments.
By this point, Georgia has discovered the girls' ruse, so she calls the cops to break up the party and teach Ginny a lesson. But Georgia is so pissed that she refuses to pick Ginny up from jail. Luckily, Paul feels too guilty not to, and he bonds with Ginny when he picks her up and admits that he loves her mom. Ginny tells him she's never seen Georgia this happy. But when Ginny gets home, she blows up at Georgia once again for all the lying. This time, Georgia finally opens up to her daughter about why she is so secretive: She was molested by her stepfather throughout her childhood. She's been homeless, and she's been in jail, and she's been abused. That's the big secret she's been keeping, and once Ginny hears this confession she clearly feels terrible about the way she's been acting. Of course, at that specific moment she feels worse thanks to all the shots she's taken that night, and has to run to the bathroom to barf.
But all is well the next morning when Georgia brings donuts for her hungover little girl. Ginny apologizes, Georgia thanks her, and then Ginny tells her mom about Hunter going down on her at the party. Georgia leaves the room with one more adult confession: They're dead broke because Kenny's ex-wife contested the will and they haven't gotten any of his money. Welcome to adulthood! At least Ginny has more insight into her mother's behavior — she was trying to protect Ginny and Austin all along.
Episode 8: "Check One, Check Other"
Ginny's always been smart, but now that she's living in this wealthy enclave of Wellsbury, she feels unprepared for college compared to her overachieving classmates with stacked resumes and college counsellors (despite the fact that they're only sophomores). But she quickly forgets about her fears when her dad shows up to pick her up from school on his motorcycle.
Zion meets Hunter at school, then gets introduced to Marcus at home — and immediately clocks the chemistry between his daughter and the boy who is definitely not her boyfriend. (Things might be extra sizzling on Marcus' part since he finally broke up with Padma.) It's kind of like the chemistry between Zion and Georgia, even though Georgia has a boyfriend of her own.
That chemistry is on full display during an awkward dinner with Georgia, Ginny, Austin, Zion, and Paul — although the awkwardness only lasts a few minutes until Paul and Zion discover that they have a ton in common and might be best buds now (along with Austin, of course). The next night, Zion takes his daughter to a poetry slam in Boston and performs a sweet poem all about his relationship with Ginny and how, since she asked him to, he plans to drop his nomadic lifestyle and stick around for a while. But Ginny's joy crashes back down to Earth when she gets home and tells her mom all about their fun night — and her mom is livid that, while dropping off clean laundry in Ginny's room, she happened upon Marcus about to sneak into her window. What is going on between the two of them? Have they had sex? And if so, have they been safe? Ginny denies everything and storms out, but Georgia knows she's not telling the full truth.
Ginny's relationship status isn't the only controversial topic she's dealing with right now. She's currently working on an essay for a contest in English class, the kind of thing that's perfect for college applications. And thanks to spending so much time with her dad, she decides to pivot from her conventional essay to a more lyrical exploration of her identity as a mixed-race person. Her class erupts in rapturous applause after her delivery, but her jerk English teacher selects Hunter as the winner instead — Hunter's essay was more conventional and what the regional judges are looking for. No hard feelings, right?
There aren't any hard feelings between the couple while they're making out in Ginny's room after school — not until they start talking about the essay contest, at least. Hunter accuses Ginny of causing drama and not sticking to the essay prompt, like their teacher said. He does what he's asked, and that usually works for him. Ginny accuses him of not recognizing the racism that she faces as a Black woman — but Hunter has his own battles in that regard, particularly with the challenges they'd both bonded over, about not feeling enough for either side of his heritage. Ginny is frustrated that Hunter doesn't recognize the differences in how Black women are treated as compared to the rest of the world, and they part on bad terms.
Things get worse when Abby calls an emergency meeting of MANG at Blue Farm, where she tells the girls that her parents are getting divorced and that she's deeply hurt by the fact that they haven't been there to support her this week. Ginny is sorry, but she's had her own stuff to deal with too. Max has been absorbed in her relationship with Sophie (by the way, they had sex!), and Norah was avoiding everyone because her mom found out that Georgia keeps guns in the house and decided to help Cynthia make it a campaign talking point. Abby slaps Ginny in a fit of jealousy, but somehow the girls manage to laugh it all off. Ginny is a very kind person, but she's also been the scapegoat for a lot of Abby's rage about her current situation, and it doesn't necessarily seem like something Ginny should let go that easily. But Ginny is her own woman, so if that's how she wants to deal with it, sure.
If that's not bad enough, the P.I., Gabriel, releases the fact that the blue plant Georgia tends to on her patio is extremely poisonous. Via flashback, we see that Kenny might not be the first time Georgia has killed a shitty husband — back in New Orleans, she married her terrible landlord/boss so child protective services wouldn't take Ginny from her after her arrest (for the illegal underground poker game she was running as a 16-year-old). Instead of procuring a hasty divorce or annulment, she drugged and killed him instead.
Oh, and back in the present, Paul is mad about the gun thing. Considering he is extremely pro gun control and doesn't want to scare away potential donors, he asks Georgia to not come to his fundraiser (and by the way, to please stop keeping secrets from him). In Georgia's frustration, she turns to Zion for comfort — and Ginny walks in on them in bed together. Overwhelmed with emotion, Ginny turns to self-harm once again, but Marcus crawls in her window and catches her. He tells her that he's in love with her, and Ginny lashes out and tells him that he's incapable of anything real. Her desire to hurt him works, because he retreats in tears, gets on his motorcycle, and speeds away — and crashes.
Episode 9: "Feelings Are Hard"
Naturally, Ginny immediately regrets what she said to Marcus — and even more so once she learns about his accident. She freaks out in her room and texts him to no response, though she's relieved when she sees Marcus come home from the hospital. Marcus has a concussion, but he's hopefully going to be okay.
Georgia pulls away from Zion almost immediately the next morning, feeling guilty about betraying Paul but also just falling into their old pattern. When she gets to work, both Paul and Nick are concerned since she "looks tired" (code for "looks like shit"), but she tells them she was up because Marcus got into an accident, though he'll be alright.
Meanwhile, in Texas: Gabriel is at a hearing in front of a judge to request the excavation of Kenny's body to test for the toxins in Georgia's flower, and his request is granted. But this is potentially just the start of Georgia's house of cards collapsing. While playing hide and seek with Zion, Austin finds Georgia's memento box and discovers the letters he wrote to his dad in Azkaban. Now Austin knows Georgia is lying to him too.
Both Ginny and Georgia are confused about their current love triangle statuses, but they have also both convinced themselves that they're doing okay with the status quo. At home, Zion has made dinner to take over to the Bakers (and by the way, he thinks that he and Georgia could really make their relationship work this time if they gave it a go — and his last relationship ended because he didn't want to settle down with her, he wants to settle down with Georgia and he's gotten the family an apartment in Boston). The dinner is going well, though the Bakers speculate over which dude Georgia's dating the whole time (is it Paul or Zion)?
Ginny sneaks off to see how Marcus is doing just as Padma swings by to drop off his homework. Padma knows that Ginny's there because she cares about him, and warns her that Marcus will only break her heart — but she thinks Marcus is into Ginny too. Marcus is resting, so they don't get to have a much-needed conversation.
They do later that week, though, when Sophie dumps Max (after Max said "I love you," yikes) and MANG has an emergency meeting with Oreos. Abby opens the Oreos and gives the cream sides to Max — which is actually the sign of a great friend? But while Ginny is there, she sneaks off to finally talk to Marcus. It turns out that he wasn't texting her because his phone is in a ditch on the side of the road. They're about to kiss, but Abby walks in and they pull apart. Abby doesn't want to know what's happening, and she doesn't want Max to know either, so they better all keep it quiet so as not to ruin the beautiful friendship of MANG.
At work, Georgia has come up with an aggressive new campaign strategy for Paul: Listening to what his constituents are saying, and then actually enacting their requests. Though, uh, is that not what elected officials are supposed to do already?
At Paul’s "get shit done" rally Zion takes photos and realizes that Georgia really is in love with Paul A flashback shows that when Ginny returned to Zion, she eventually told him that she knew they loved each other, but she didn't want to be a prison for him and wanted to set him free. After the rally, Georgia tries to tell Paul that she wants to give it a go with Zion, who's already told Ginny about his plan, but Paul refuses to give up. He knows that he and Georgia are cut from the same cloth — they both want power, and he's known she was perfect for him since the first day they met. In fact, he bought her an engagement ring and he wants her to think about what she really wants.
When Georgia gets back home, she sees Zion sitting at the table with his bag packed. He saw the way she was with Paul today. He knows that she wants everything Paul can provide for her in Wellsbury, and Zion wants her to get everything she wants, so he's going to leave.
When Zion goes to see Ginny at work before he heads out of town, she realizes immediately that he's leaving. It's not going to work out like Ginny wanted, and of course Ginny wonders what Georgia did to make Zion leave. (It should be noted that Zion is still planning on staying nearby in Boston, so while it might not be what Ginny expected or dreamed of, it's not like he's leaving her forever.)
After Zion's news, though, Ginny has finally, finally realized that she's in love with Marcus, so she climbs in through his window and tells him so. Obviously he loves her too, and they start hooking up. It's probably not good for his concussion, but he is a hormonal teenage boy and the girl of his dreams just climbed in through his window to confess her love. Like, duh, he's obviously going to let it happen. This time it's slow and loving — and better, because at least this time he wasn't a virgin. He didn't tell Ginny before because he wanted her to think he was cool.
They've reached a new level in their relationship, so Marcus opens up about how dark things got for him after his friend died. Marcus thought about dying a lot, and was honestly shocked that no one realized that he was just constantly internally crying for help. This is his way of saying he saw her with the lighter, and he's here to listen if she wants to talk about it and she's also internally crying for help.
The way Ginny explains it: She has these feelings that make her want to explode out of her body, and burning herself concentrates it. It's like a release, and then she feels better. Marcus suggests therapy, since that worked so well for him, and Ginny agrees that's probably a good idea.
But before she can see a professional, everything comes to a head: Austin tells Ginny about the letters Georgia faked. Hunter wants to talk. Cynthia breaks into the mayor's office and discovers some missing checks from the ledger (she'd seen Georgia getting a lot of cash at the bank earlier that day). Kenny's body isn't actually in his grave. Oh, and Max discovers that Ginny and Marcus have been sexting.
Episode 10: "The Worst Betrayal Since Jordyn and Kylie"
Once Georgia accepts Paul's proposal, she and the kids pose for photos with the mayor on the eve of his big election. But Gabriel the P.I. (most definitely not a teacher) is back, and tries one last desperate attempt to get info on Georgia from her sister Maddie. Still hurt, Maddie tells him to run the name Georgia used in New Orleans: Georgia Warren. Cynthia tries to sabotage Georgia by reporting her for embezzling, but since the town's account has the correct amount of money, there's no crime there.
When Ginny gets to school after the photo shoot, her friends all ignore her without explanation. She's frustrated, but a conversation with her friend Bracia about the constant microaggressions she faces in Wellsbury reminds her that no matter how great she felt about having a core group of friends for the first time in her life, she would always be experiencing the world differently from them — just as Bracia experiences the world differently from Ginny. Luckily, Bracia is there for her whenever she wants to talk. When Ginny tries to bond with Hunter's ex, the girl is not so receptive — probably because Ginny let her newfound popularity go to her head and iced her out at Halloween.
Later at work, Ginny is still reeling from the events of the day and her relationship issues, and she opens up to Joe about her confusion. Not helping matters is the fact that Hunter doesn't actually want to break up, even though Ginny assumed they were done (and, you know, slept with Marcus again). Joe tells her to take a walk to clear her head, and as Ginny starts to head out the door Joe notices her vintage Ray Bans. Ginny stole them from Georgia, she says, who'd always told her they were the first nice thing she owned — and were given to her by a boy at a rest stop who changed her life with such an act of kindness (and half a sandwich). Joe finally realizes who Georgia is — and that of course she knew who he was, but never said anything.
Georgia comes in to find Ginny, and Joe awkwardly pauses before confronting her... just as Ellen walks in to see Georgia's engagement ring. He chickens out, then tells Ginny he needs five to take a walk of his own.
Since Max still hasn't said anything about why she's icing Ginny out, Ginny brings her flowers backstage at the big faux-Chicago musical — where Max reveals just before going onstage that she knows Ginny had sex with her brother. Their fight continues in the wings during Max's quick changes, and every single time Ginny tries to talk to her you will wonder about two things: that Max's mic will be hot and everyone will hear them, and why no one has kicked Ginny the hell out since she is extremely in the way. Finally, they retreat to the hallway to actually have it out. Abby and Norah join them, and Ginny lashes out at Abby for spilling the beans.
But Abby didn't actually say anything, and she explains to Max that she only pretended to be surprised about the Marcus news because she didn't want Max to be hurt. Of course, Max is still extremely hurt, and the MANG friendship is pretty much over anyway, so when Hunter joins them in the hallway Abby is quick to blurt out the truth about Ginny's betrayal (since he's still in the dark). Of course Marcus shows up, and though he doesn't deny it, he does casually say it was a mistake.
As Hunter walks away, he makes sure to tell Ginny just how great he was to her and how she didn't deserve it (which is true, but you don't get to pat yourself on the back for being nice to someone). Max storms off and tells Norah to leave the liars behind, Abby calls Ginny a bitch, and Ginny is heartbroken that Marcus said they were a mistake. He thought that was what she'd want him to say, but it obviously isn't.
Back at the Baker house, Max and Marcus are literally at each other's throats. Max can't believe that Marcus could betray her like this, and how Ginny could hurt her so much, but Marcus tells Max that she doesn't even realize how much crap Ginny let her get away with during the course of their friendship. Max constantly oversteps boundaries, and doesn't realize that her friend has been going through some majorly painful stuff. When Ellen comes in to break up the fight, Max decides to step over another boundary and tell Ellen why they're fighting: Because Marcus had sex with Ginny.
Ellen heads across the street to have a glass of wine with Georgia, where she tells her about their kids having sex. But Georgia isn't shocked, and Ellen's upset that Georgia didn't tell her that she knew about them.
When Georgia confronts Ginny, Ginny throws her behavior in her mom's face. After all, where did she learn it from? Yeah, she's mad about Zion leaving, and all the other things she's confronted her mother about in the past, but she's also mad about Georgia not sending Austin's letters to his dad. So mad, in fact, that she sent them herself, and yes, she did put their return address on them because Austin deserves to have a relationship with his father. Georgia is immediately scared, and wonders if Ginny knows what she's done. Of course Ginny doesn't know what she's done, because Georgia never tells her anything. Georgia says that's because she doesn't know this version of Ginny, but Ginny says she's wrong: "I'm you, remember?"
Ginny's not here to take shit anymore, so when she gets to school the next day, she confronts her racist English teacher about being racist and constantly singling Ginny out in class and never acknowledging her sky high grade. She wants to report him to the school board — unless he signs a glowing college recommendation letter for her. He does, despite claiming that he can't be racist because, just like Bradley Whitford says in Get Out, he voted for Obama twice. In the cafeteria, Max and Abby both shun Ginny, but Bracia comes to her rescue and invites Ginny to sit at a table with her friends, who are chatting about colleges they plan to apply to and are generally having a great time. It's a nice respite from her old friend group's constant drama.
At home, Georgia realizes that Austin's anger with her goes deeper than just giving her the silent treatment — he's also been cutting school every day and has adopted some problematic behaviors that his teacher would like to discuss with Georgia.
Later, while Ginny's at work, Gabriel confronts her about her mom's "dangerous" behavior. He thinks she killed Kenny by poisoning him with her wolfsbane plant — and Ginny realizes exactly why her mom might've done that (because Kenny was sexually assaulting Ginny). Just as Georgia has said all along, everything she's ever done has been to protect her family. Ginny has nothing to tell him because Georgia loved Kenny and she would never hurt anyone, but when she gets home she begins packing a go bag.
When Marcus comes over to apologize for saying they were a mistake, Ginny tells him it's fine. Marcus knows something is off, and tells Ginny he doesn't want her to hurt herself, but she tells him she's fine and he drops it. Once he leaves, Ginny and Austin torch the wolfsbane plant in the fireplace and hit the road together.
At city hall, where Georgia is expecting Ginny to meet her with Austin, Nick announces the election results: Paul has won reelection. (Again, side note: How big is this town? The rally is huge.) Cynthia heads home to her husband, who's on oxygen in a hospital bed watching TV with their son, while Paul and Georgia celebrate his win. As Georgia watches the celebratory fireworks, Gabriel confronts her to ask what happened to Kenny's body — he knows she's the one who dug him up.
But it takes something really big to "scatter the ashes of the past," Georgia says — as the fireworks explode behind her. Aha, so that's what happened to Kenny. Just when Gabriel thinks Georgia has bested him, he gets a tip that Georgia has been married once before, in New Orleans, and that her husband is still a missing person. Georgia and Paul are still celebrating as Ginny and Austin ride off together to a destination unknown.